On Star Wars

Your Synthetic Honor, Learned Opposing Counsel, Ladies, Gentlemen and Otherwise of the Jury...

By Matthew Woodring Stover

With a certain amount of folksy snapping of suspenders and straightening of bowtie, I suppose I have to get up and talk now, about what Learned Opposing Counsel has told you will be the Merits and Glories of Star Wars.

Well, I’m not gonna do it.

That’s what I have witnesses for.

Besides, you’re hip to the Merits and Glories already, or you wouldn’t be reading this.

I’m here only to introduce myself and the subject, and to talk a little bit about the nature of the arguments you’ll be reading. Along the way I’ll clear up some minor points, and maybe highlight a few of the rhetorical games the Sith–sorry, the Prosecution–might be playing. Brevity being the soul of et cetera, I’ll keep it short.

Short-ish.

Let’s start right off with some straight truths.

First: I’m not exactly unbiased, and I’m sure as hell not going to pretend to be. In the interests of full disclosure, I’ll tell you right up front that I have personally perpetrated three (that’s three–count ’em) of those poor substitutes for real science fiction that are driving real SF off the shelves, including the novelization for Revenge of the Sith. Seeing as how one of the basic premises of this argument is a direct attack against my own work, I see no reason to take a high-minded tone. Since the Prosecution is clearly (and wisely) disinclined to accept a duel with lightsabers, I have reluctantly decided to settle for whipping them in print.

Second: as the author  …

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